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Ontario Cities That Opted-Out of Cannabis Stores

By: Kylie Osinga

Ever wonder how many Ontario Cities Opted Out of Cannabis Stores? Wonder no more because we have all the info on who opted in and out of having a cannabis retail store in their city!

In April, cannabis retail stores began opening across Ontario. Prior to this, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) allowed municipalities to vote on whether they would permit marijuana retail stores. 377 said yes, while 77 municipalities opted out of cannabis retail stores.

According to the AGCO, cities that opted out can reconsider in the future, but cities that opted in can’t change their decision. If the municipality did not vote at all, cannabis stores were automatically permitted.

In early January, a retail licence lottery selected 25 entries to open the first shops in April. Licences for shops can only be used in communities that have a population greater than 50,000.

Since legalization in October, the only legal way to purchase marijuana is on the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) online website or through Licensed Producers if you are prescribed medical cannabis.

The following is a list of places that have either opted in or opted out of allowing cannabis retail stores:
Municipalities in Ontario that have opted for Cannabis Retail Stores:
• Township of Dawn-Euphemia
• Municipality of Highlands East
• Township of Nairn and Hyman
• Township of the North Shore
• Township of Plummer Additional
• Township of Prince
• Township of Armour
• Township of East Ferris
• Township of Johnson
• Township of Spanish
• Township of Tarbutt
• City of Elliot Lake
• City of Greater Sudbury
• Town of Latchford
• Township of South Stormont
• Municipality of Trent Lakes
• Township of Tudor and Cashel
• Municipality of Bluewater
• Municipality of Chatham-Kent
• City of Clarence-Rockland
• Township of Ear Falls
• City of Guelph
• Town of Huntsville
• Town of Iroquois
• Municipality of Leamington
• Town of Marathon
• Township of North Frontenac
• City of Ottawa
• City of Hamilton
• Kitchener and Waterloo
• Township of Zorra
• City of Owen Sound
• City of Sarnia
• City of Toronto
• City of London
• City of Kingston
• Town of Smiths Falls
• Municipality of Trent Hills

Municipalities that have opted out:
• Town of Erin
• Township of Frontenac Islands
• Town of Ingersoll
• Township of King
• Township of Lake of the Woods
• City of Markham
• City of Mississauga
• Township of Papineau-Cameron
• Township of Centre Wellington
• Township of Dorion
• Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula
• Township of Southgate
• Town of Tecumseh
• Township of West Lincoln

For the full list of municipalities that have opted in or out go to the AGCO website (HERE)

Many places that opted out claimed they want to wait to see what happens in the legal cannabis market before committing to allowing retail stores.

One question remains; will the combination of opting in or out and limited storefronts result in the black market thriving in these areas?

Interested in getting authorized for medical cannabis? Contact our clinic at 1-844-312-5143 or fill out our intake package (HERE)

Resources: List of municipalities from Global news read the full article here.

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What is Cannabinol (CBN)?

What is Cannabinol? And, why does this lesser known cannabinoid, found in only trace amounts in the plant, sound so oddly familiar to your ears?

Think for a second about the full name for THC. You may not know it off of the top of your head, but it’s likely that at least once in life, you have heard the word “tetrahydrocannabinol,” as the full scientific label for THC. Pull the word tetrahydrocannabinol apart, and you will spot the mention of our title cannabinoid, CBN, right there at the end. This is, of course, not a coincidence, as cannabinol (CBN) is a molecule that is not made directly from the cannabis plant, but instead, actually comes from the chemical breakdown of THC.

Cannabinoid molecules in the cured raw (unheated) plant occur in their acidic forms (CBGA, THCA, CBDA, CBCA, etc.). The process of applying heat to these acidic molecules initiates a chemical reaction known as decarboxylation, which will then transform the chemicals into their active forms (CBG, THC, CBD, CBC). The oxidation (exposure to air) of THC can then convert THC into CBN. In other words, decarbed weed, exposed to air over time will accumulate higher levels of CBN. The second way to convert THCA to CBN involves an oxidation reaction first, and then a decarboxylation. Exposure to air converts THCA into CBNA, then, by heating this degraded bud, you will break the acid chain and end up with CBN.

CBN has some very mild psychoactive properties and only seems to partially interact with the endocannabinoid system. However, very little research has been done on CBN on its own, therefore very little is known about its properties and its metabolism in humans.

What Can CBN Do?

THC and CBN differ by only 4 hydrogen atoms, and consequently the compounds tend to be quite similar in certain ways. Like a lot of other cannabinoids, including THC, CBN is beneficial as an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-convulsant, pain-reliever, and appetite-stimulant. There is also evidence that CBN might help promote the growth of bone cells, and hence could speed up healing in bone fractures. CBN also has benefits when applied topically; it seems to have a cooling effect on burns, and it could also be responsible for a lot of the positive effects that cannabis topicals have on regulating skin growth in psoriasis.

However, there are a couple of ways that CBN differs greatly from THC. The psychoactive THC molecule is known to produce very stimulating effects, THC will make you feel euphoric and excited, make your heart race, and keep you quite stimulated. CBN on the other hand is known to be very sedating and has effects that will decrease your heart rate and relax you. This means, that similar to CBD, CBN has properties that are friendly to insomniacs. Also, as I have mentioned before, CBN is not known to be especially psychoactive, and its cerebral effects should be limited to some mild disorientation or grogginess.

Why CBN … and not CBD?

If CBN is scarce, obscure, and hard to find, why is this particular cannabinoid even important? That is, if most of the properties of CBN are already present in either THC or CBD, AND if THC and CBD are both easy to find in today’s legal market, why should one care to be informed about CBN?

The answer to this lies in CBN’s unparalleled sedative abilities. Even though CBN is found in only trace amounts in cannabis, it is the cannabinoid that is most responsible for the plant’s ability to put you to sleep (and keep you there).

According to some research from Steep Hill Labs, with respect to its sedative abilities, one 5mg dose of CBN is about as effective as 10mg of diazepam (Valium). What this means for sufferers of insomnia, is that 5mg of cannabinol has the ability to be a potent and side-effect-free alternative to many potentially harmful sleep aid medications.

The best possible way to use cannabis as a sleep aid, is to look for strains that are high in THC, high in CBN, and high in the terpene myrcene. This combination of cannabinoids and terpenes will produce the most sedating results possible from cannabis flower.

Where Can I Find CBN?

Even though CBN is relatively rare, if you have been following along in my text, you will have possibly deduced some potential sources for it.

CBN results from the degradation of cured cannabis, or in plain nonformal English, it comes from old weed. If you understood the science of oxidation and decarboxylation, you would note that there are two ways to get CBN from your bud over time. The first would be just to let your unused bud sit exposed to air for a significant period, and then burn that dried up schwag when you’re ready for some good rest. The second would be to decarb your bud by vaping it, letting those decarbed buds sit over time, and then either re-vaping, or preferably, cooking with it.

However, even though you don’t know me, you should know that I am much too much of a connoisseur to smoke musty old herb, and I have some more refined sources of CBN as well…

One of my recent favourite bed-time treats has been a high-CBN extract known as Cherry Oil.

And when my brain really needs a knockout punch, the best possible solution is a potent medical concoction of CBN Phoenix Tears.

Although, it will be some time before high-potency extracts such as hash oils and Phoenix Tears make their way over to the legal/recreational market. And so, for the time being, non-medical insomniacs may just have to rely on their stale buds to get them through the night.

Harpreet Samra

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Can you Fly with Cannabis in Canada?

In Canada, it is now legal to fly with cannabis. Travelers can carry up to 30 grams on domestic flights either packed in checked or carry-on baggage.

Laws are different in each province, so it’s important to look into this before travelling. For instance, Quebec and Alberta area the only provinces where the legal age for cannabis is 18 and not 19.

The laws are still the same regarding smoking; you cannot smoke or vape cannabis or any other substance on flights.

Something to keep in mind is that cannabis oil is subject to the same regulations as liquids; they must be under 100 ml and in a clear plastic bag. It is important to check if your flight has a lay-over in the United States as the laws of their country still apply. Even if you are not planning on landing in the US, extreme weather or another emergency might require a flight to divert and land in a US airport. In this case you could be criminally charged and/or get a lifetime ban from the country. Even if you’re coming to or from a state where cannabis has been legalized, you cannot bring the product with you when you return to Canada. Transporting medical cannabis between different countries is also illegal.

Next time you travel, instead of bringing your cannabis with you, you may want to purchase some legal product at your destination to avoid legal consequences.

Travelers are responsible for learning about the laws of the countries they may be visiting or potentially land in.

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What is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short is a crystalline compound that is the main active ingredient of cannabis. It was first isolated in 1964 by a scientists Raphael Mechoulam and Yechiel Gaoni at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

THC is what is known as a cannabinoid. These are chemical compounds found in cannabis that interact with receptors in the brain and body. There are many cannabinoids in cannabis, but THC is the most widely known. It is the psychoactive compound in cannabis and is what gets you high.

Humans (and many other animals) have receptor systems that THC binds to. This system is called the endocannabinoid system. THC works by binding to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system.

THC is almost structurally identical to a natural chemical in our brains called anandamide, which is the human body’s natural occurring cannabinoid. Because THC structurally mimics an anandamide, it can affect regions of the brain associate with things like behavior and mood, memory, thinking, coordination, concentration, movements, and time perception.

THC also floods the brain with dopamine, which can make some users feel relaxed and euphoric. However, it affects everyone differently, while some users may experience feeling calm, it may increase anxiety levels for others. The reasoning is because everyone’s body chemistry is different. As well, different strains will contain varying amounts of THC, and will therefore affect the user differently. While one strain may have an unpleasant outcome, there many be another strain that could affect the user in a positive way.

THC Ingestion

THC is non-intoxicating unless it undergoes a process called decarboxylation, this occurs when you heat cannabis.

THC can be ingested or used in many ways. Some ways include: smoking, vaping, edibles, tinctures, creams and topicals (for ant-inflammation of joints and muscles.)

Important Note: Ingesting too much THC can lead to many adverse effects and an unpleasant experience. It is recommended to go low and slow when starting to ingest THC. Remember that a cannabis high will eventually wear off.

Medicinal Benefits of THC

Here are a few conditions that THC may help treat:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Inflammation
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • PTSD
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Nausea
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Endometriosis

There are many more conditions that people use cannabis to treat. As research continues to progress after legalization, it is the hope that more will be learned about the many medical benefits of cannabis.

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How to make Pot Brownies

Pot brownies or space cakes are probably the most well-known and popular edible.

The first step is to make canna-butter. See our How to Make Cannabis Butter article to learn how to make your own delicious butter! As well as How to Properly Dose Edibles.

Here’s how to make them!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of pot butter
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a pan with cooking spray.
  • Mix the dry ingredients: cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl
  • Melt butter down in a saucepan, but do not let it boil.
  • Mix sugar and vanilla into the butter (when mixing you will want your butter warm but not hot.)
  • Next mix the dry and wet ingredients together along with your eggs.
  • Beat the mixture in your mixing bowl until velvety.
  • Pour the brownie batter into your baking pan.
  • Put the brownies in the oven to bake for approximately 25-30 minutes.
  • Use a toothpick to check if it is done (if there is no batter on the toothpick after poking the brownie, it is ready!)
  • Allow brownies to cool and add icing if you desire!

Protip: An easier approach is to buy store bought brownie mix. Add in your canna-butter and cook as per the box’s instructions!

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How to make Cannabis Butter

Marijuana edibles allow you to consume cannabis in a more desecrate way. They are also a healthier alternative to smoking pot. Edibles last longer than smoking THC as well as the effects come on slower and last longer.

The great thing about cannabis butter is you can infuse it into multiple recipes, whether savory or sweet.  You can add it into brownie mix, cookies, gummies, potatoes, chicken – basically anything you can put butter on/in, you can use canna-butter!

Here’s how to make it!


The first step is to decarboxylate.

To activate the psychoactive potential of cannabis, it should be heated slowly at a low temperature to yield the best results. Skipping this step will result in a weak or inactive finished product.

The temperature and how long you bake will depend on how much weed you are using and what kind of oven you have. Here are some general instructions for how long and what temperature to decarb your cannabis at:

  • Preheat your oven to 245 degrees F (depending on the type of oven you have this may vary)
  • Line a baking tray with some parchment paper
  • Grind your cannabis and spread thinly on the tray
  • Bake the cannabis for approximately 40-60 minutes

Note: This recipe uses butter, but you can use other oils such as; olive oil, coconut oil, or other fatty oils.

Another important thing to consider is dosing.

How much cannabis should you put in? When dosing edibles it’s best to start at around 5-10mg per serving till you learn how your body reacts. It’s also important you wait approximately 1-2 hours after ingestion before trying anymore.

Using the cannabis cooking calculator by THCoverdose you can quickly plan the dosage of your recipe.

You can do the math on your own too. For starters, you need to know the amount of THC that is in your flower. Cannabis that is sold at licensed producers will have the THC/CBD percentage on the label. As an example, let’s say the recipe you are making will make ten cookies, you want to use 2 grams of cannabis, and your bud has a THC percentage of 10%. To figure out how strong your cookies will be you multiply 2 (amount of bud) by 1000 to get the total milligrams, then multiply that by .10 (THC percentage), and you’ll have the total amount of THC you’ll be using. Divide this number by the number of servings, and you’ll find that your cookies will each have 20mg of THC.

If you’re new to cooking with cannabis, you need to remember to take it slow and be patient. Start low and go slow in order to test what is the best dosage for you.

For more details on how to calculate dosing  Click here.

What Strain to Choose?

When choosing a strain, consider the effects of each strain. Typically, indicas are more relaxing (think “in-da-couch”) while sativas tend to be more stimulating.


Cooking the Canna-butter

You will need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 lb of un-salted butter
  • 1 oz lightly ground bud or trim

Directions:

Mix your decarbed weed and butter in a pot with the water (this prevents the butter from burning). Heat on low and simmer for 3-6 hours. Another easy way to do this is to heat in a crockpot for 6 hours.

After this time let the mixture cool enough to handle (but not enough to set) strain out the plant material. A good tip is to line a strainer with cheese cloth, strain and then squeeze the butter out of the cheese cloth.

Discard of the plant material (all the good stuff is in the butter). Put in the fridge for 4 hours to harden, or overnight.

Remove the hardened butter from the remaining water and there you have it; delicious canna-butter!

Now you can add it to any recipe your heart desires! What’s your favorite way to infuse canna-butter? Share your favorite recipes in the comments!

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Why You Need A Cannabis ID Card

Over the years, medical cannabis (and cannabis in general), has grown to become more widely accepted in Canada. We have been experiencing a lot of historical changes that are paving the way for other global movements to eliminate the ban on cannabis, both medically and recreationally. With this, come a lot of changes that people may not always be aware of.

One of those is how law enforcement is adapting to a rapidly-changing ruling of how cannabis is distributed, stored, and possessed. This brings forth the question: how do I prove that I’m legally able to have cannabis on me without being arrested? The reason why this is such an important question is because it has different answers depending on who you are. What I mean when I say that is: you can possess more on your person in public if you are a medical patient than your average recreational smoker. But how will law enforcement know if you’re a medical patient if you’re pulled over or stopped in public?

There are two main ways that will help support or prove that you’re a patient, using medical cannabis as a treatment. The first is all that anyone would ever legally need to prove that you’re a medical patient, and that is your prescription bottle. This is the same for any other pill, capsule, or liquid. Your prescription bottle, legally entitles you to the medical use of that medication, as prescribed on your bottle.

The other way that can oftentimes help in proving that you’re a medical patient is a cannabis authorization card. This is similar to a driver’s license in that it has your address, birthday, and photo, however, it also carries information about your prescribing clinic, your prescription amount, and the duration of your prescription. Some members of law enforcement prefer to see this because it tells them all that they need to know about your prescription, and it even has a phone number on the back for a nurse on staff 24/7 for verification that you’re a patient. We’ve found that it can be useful in other situations, as well.

 

For more information about how you can get your cannabis ID card, call MMC at 1-844-312-5143 or email associates@medmc.ca

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